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Town Car Decals: Needed or Not?

One Legialative Council member says she doesn't like to see Hamden cars out at far-off shopping centers on weekends obviously being used as family vehicles, and thinks these cars need to be appropriately marked as Town of Hamden vehicles.


As the Legislative Council considers approving the funding to purchase 11 new police vehicles, one council member says she wants the town's police on how town cars are marked qualified.

Councilwoman Betty Wetmore said she wants to see tighter controls on which cars are allowed to remain unmarked and who is allowed to drive those unmarked cars where.

It's upsetting for residents to see Hamden town cars parked in shopping centers in far-off towns and the town employees filling those cars with groceries and packages, she said, or to see town cars used to run errands or drop children off at school.

"The taxpayers get mad," she said, "and so they should."

There are only a handful of cars that are assigned to officials 24/7, Chief Administrative Officer Curt Balzano Leng said, and those include the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, the Public Works Director and the Mayor.

A car will now be assigned to the Building Official, who often does work on his own time on the weekends, Leng said, which warrants his access to a town car on the weekends.

But in general, town cars need to be plainly marked with permanent decals on them, Wetmore said, so taxpayers can easily identify them.

Leng said he would come up with a policy for the council to review at its next full meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Government Center third floor conference room.

Linda C November 08, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Take the same action some private companies have who experienced the same abuse by employees. Outfit the new cars with a GPS device and allow full disclosure tracking on line. Allowing Tax Payers to Monitor where THEIR cars are and for how long? Waste doesn't come only with out of town errands, but in 2 or 3 hour lunches with vehicles parked at their own residence or others all afternoon! We as tax payers have every right to know where our PAID officials are during working hours. Bet that will put a stop to the abuse!
Thomas Alegi November 08, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Nonyabusiness, interesting point you made "she's just following her predecessor's hours." Are there flex working hours for town employees, if not who authorized the predecessor and this town employee’s working hours? Linda, your suggestion of GPS tracking of town owned vehicles is excellent but sorry to say it would just highlight who is in bed with whom, politically speaking that is.
Don Charles November 09, 2012 at 01:21 PM
All I know Nonyabusiness is that I have been to this office several times and the doors were locked when they should have been opened. A note was on the door back soon, and this was not during lunch time. As to hours the hours as I understand are from 8:30 AM and this office is at times closed till much later. Asking other employees about this office being closed seems to get a shrug and a slight smile. AS to being a former or present employee, not at all, I am a taxpayer who resents people taking advantage and getting paid for not doing what they should be doing. Guess Nonyabusiness is a close friend or one of the council protecting an employee .He/she seems to know a lot about her office, her lunch time and the hours she puts in. Interesting Ehh!!!
Linda C November 09, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Exactly Thomas! Bet that would be one busy site. I'm sure they can deduct the cost under Entertainment Tax.
Carl C November 11, 2012 at 02:48 AM
"It's upsetting for residents to see Hamden town cars parked in shopping centers in far-off towns and the town employees filling those cars with groceries and packages, she said, or to see town cars used to run errands or drop children off at school." Nonsense. If the cars in question are currently unmarked, how does anyone recognize them as Town of Hamden vehicles? If they're already being recognized even in their current, unmarked state as Town of Hamden vehicles, and this is happening with such frequency that a Councilwoman feels obligated to make this statement based upon actual complaints, then it is obviously not necessary to take any action to make them more recognizable. "Having solved all other problems, the Town of Hamden has decided to plaster their Town-owned vehicles with high-visibility decals in an effort to increase the already high number of complaints among citizens upset with seemingly inappropriate use of the vehicles."

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